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Sewing machine help - feed dogs not dropping!

(17 Posts)
BigBoobiedBertha Mon 17-Mar-14 18:18:35

So I finally decide that I should do more than think about free motion quilting and get myself all set up to practice but things did not go well. Despite following instructions in the manual the feed dogs are not down far enough and they are still snagging the fabric.

The machine is Pfaff Quilt Expression 2046 and I got it about 6 mths ago second hand. The feed dogs are going down and when I am not sewing they are below the level of the plate but when I start sewing they are coming up a little bit. I have had a go at cleaning it but it doesn't seem to be making much difference. I am at a bit of a loss what to do now.

I know it is a bit of a long shot but does anybody have any experience and /or ideas?

headlesslambrini Mon 17-Mar-14 18:31:22

I don't know that machine but on mine, a brother, my button has two settings, push it partly down and the feed dogs drop a little, push all the way down and the feed dogs go down completely. Do you think it may be something like this?

nickelbabe Mon 17-Mar-14 18:33:51

you might be able to get a guilting feed dog. they're usually flat or made from.teflon.
havevaclook on pfaff's website

nickelbabe Mon 17-Mar-14 18:34:42

quilting! blushgrin

BigBoobiedBertha Mon 17-Mar-14 21:25:45

I knew what you meant nickelbabe but as the owner of a dog who tries to guilt me into feeding her that made me smile. She is a little greedy grin

Yes I was wondering if I should get a quilting plate but it is annoying as I shouldn't need it.

I am now wondering if I am doing something wrong with the foot I am using as it seems to be adding to the grip of feed dogs by pressing down too much.

headless - I did wonder about whether I was pushing the button far enough across but it won't go any further. The weird thing is that I have a slider on the front of the machine and also another one next to the bobbin case. They are both supposed to raise and lower the dogs but the one on the front isn't doing both. It may be part of the problem or I maybe clutching at straws!

Do you think if I keep fiddling long enough it might just suddenly work?! <<sigh>>

nickelbabe Mon 17-Mar-14 21:39:28

might be worth taking it into a sewing machine shop and asking them to look.
if it's a hard thing, they'll mend it, if it a simple thing they'll show you what to do (usually the latter at no cost)

grin at feeding dogs

BigBoobiedBertha Mon 17-Mar-14 23:49:00

We don't have a shop around here unfortunately. I was hoping to avoid having to find somebody to look at it but I think it might be the only way to sort it out.

Or I suppose I could just take the hint and give up on the idea of free motion quilting......

nobodysfool Tue 18-Mar-14 00:09:37

Are there any tutorials on you tube for your machine ? Maybe they would tell you, or call the helpline of the manufacturer .

holycowwhatnow Tue 18-Mar-14 00:15:40

You can always just cover the feed dogs with cardboard taped down. I did this on my old machine and it worked fine. Don't give up on free-motion quilting - it's SOO much fun!

Smudge588 Wed 19-Mar-14 16:51:08

Hi, I have a Pfaff machine, although not that one but on mine there is a slider on the back to drop the feed dogs. I presume yours is the same? I did look at yours when I got mine and knowing the spec they should easily drop. Sounds like your machine isn't quite right. Have you had the bobbin casing out and cleaned it? Maybe something is sticking? Not sure what else to suggest...

Smudge588 Wed 19-Mar-14 16:52:15

Just re read your post and saw you had cleaned it sorry!

Smudge588 Wed 19-Mar-14 16:57:14

Sorry posted before finishing. It sounds like the feed dogs haven't properly disengaged if they drop then come back up. If the slider is fully across and not sticking it will probably in the mechanism you can't get to easily under the casing. You could either have someone service it or get round it by putting Teflon paper over the feed dogs as previously suggested. Some people do service machines themselves and there will be YouTube videos but I've never been brave enough!!!

BigBoobiedBertha Wed 19-Mar-14 23:10:47

Thanks Smudge. Can I ask, once your feed dogs are down do they move at all? I always imagined lowering the feed dogs would be like putting the brakes on them and they wouldn't move or I suppose they could do their feed dog up and down thing but low enough to not poke above the plate iyswim. I was wondering just how broken mine are!

I can't actually remember what my old Janome used to do which doesn't help. I never gave free motion quilting much of a go whilst I had it. I was not a natural so gave up as soon as decently possible whilst doing my Ciity and Guilds. blush

Thanks holycow. I wondered about doing that but was worried that the dogs would snag the covering and make a whole in it. I should give it a go though. Who know what might happen?

Nobodysfool - I reckon it might require a phone call in the end. Even if covering the dogs up works, something isn't right.

Smudge588 Thu 20-Mar-14 13:08:52

Just had a good look at them - they do move just the same as when they are up but are a millimeters or two below the plate so they don't catch. Fingers crossed you can get it sorted, free motion is great once you get going.

nickelbabe Thu 20-Mar-14 13:45:04

just ask your shop smile

I always get loads of extra hints from mine (I spend most of my visit going "ooh, really? I didnmt know that!" and come out a new expert.)

BigBoobiedBertha Sun 23-Mar-14 23:37:47

Just a little update - our quilt group had a workshop yesterday and one of the ladies who went has the same machine as me. I mentioned my problem to her and she showed me the answer to my problem. It isn't that the feed dogs aren't dropping properly, it is that I hadn't realised that presser foot has two settings. There is the usual up and down for normal sewing. I knew about that one obviously. There is a second one you have to lower the presser foot half way and push it back to lock it in a slightly raised position. It all makes sense!! It is a shame that this little tip is not on the same page (or even close) to the instructions on how to lower the feed dogs. Not even anything in the index/contents pages. <<sigh>>

No excuses for not having a go at free motion quilting now.

Thanks for your help ladies. smile

nickelbabe Tue 25-Mar-14 07:03:32

ooh clever.
I would never have got that because my presser foot doesn't do that. (it does have a knob you can press at the top to change the amount of pressure)

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